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My string education began with a combination of classical, Suzuki, and fiddle. I loved learning the fiddle tunes, playing in Ms. Carol's ensemble where we would play classical works by memory, then turn on a dime and rip out Orange Blossom Special at fancy cocktail parties.
This combination of fiddling and classical training gave me a unique perspective on music. I was taught to play by ear and to read music. In high school, I played in a couple of bands where I was given the chance to improvise and be part of an ensemble with singer song-writers, guitarists, drummers, and vocalists. The experience shaped my playing style and honed my ears.
Last year, the Axiom Quartet started working on a recording project. Our first album ,Axioms, is being released on April 13, 2018. My absolutely favorite piece on the album is Wagon Wheel. Recording it, and performing it, makes me feel like I'm home. It is a cover of Bob Dylan/Ketch Secor's famous tune.
The way the quartet weaves in and out of fiddle melodies and banjo-like accompaniment does my heart good. When we were recording it, I was taken back to 2002, when my high school orchestra director was encouraging me to look at universities in Nashville and Berklee College of Music. She had noticed my drive and love for fiddle and jazz and was so encouraging to go that route. A classical education won out, but sometimes I wonder what if I had taken the plunge and gone to school to fiddle?
As a violist, I don't get a lot of opportunities to fiddle, but I highly encourage you to take a listen to our version of Wagon Wheel, and hear my teenage self come back to life!
This photo was taken during my dress like you're on the set of Jurassic Park days, but I'm sure I was playing something like Tennessee Waltz or Wildwood Flower for my dad!